But after writing this morning’s post on the Republican report that recommended the exact deficit-reduction package that the Republican leadership ultimately walked out on, I realized that even that definition of “bipartisan” doesn’t quite get it right. Rather, a “bipartisan” bill is a bill that the opposing party treats as bipartisan, while a partisan bill is a bill that the opposing party treats as partisan. That puts the agency where it belongs: on the minority party. The idea that the president can “be bipartisan” is dead wrong. He can be partisan, designing bills that the opposing party would never want to vote for, but he can’t be bipartisan unless the opposing party lets him. And knowing that any reputation he gets for bipartisanship will be used in his reelection campaign, why would they do that?
Which makes the current incarnation of the Republican party some kind of cockteasing abstinence dominatrix.